An Avalanche of Catalogs

on Dec 14, 2011 by Michael Rupured

Since Thanksgiving, the mailman has deposited forty-nine copies of thirty different catalogs in our mailbox with more arriving every day. I was going to wait until Christmas Eve to blog about them, but my partner had a sudden attack of “clean this damn place up” and tossed them in the recycling bin. I take that to mean today is the day and dug them back out to write this post.

We received one copy of eighteen different catalogs.  Some of these, like American Girl, Mindware, and Catalog Classics we ordered from last year. Or maybe it was Catalog Favorites. Having recently made purchases from these companies, I can understand why they would send me a copy of this year’s catalog.

I suspect my subscription to The New Yorker is the reason why several companies decided that sending us a catalog was worth a shot. It’s hard to say for sure but I suspect that’s how Magellan’s Travel Supplies, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Met Kids, and Hammacher Schlemmer got my address.  What they don’t know is that I’m too busy reading The New Yorker to even glimpse at any of these catalogs. As of today, I’m two and a half issues behind–down from four issues behind earlier this week.

There are quite a few others that I may have ordered from in previous years.  These include PBS, Bits and Pieces, Young Explorers, and the Smithsonian. I don’t know what I did to receive Computer Gear & More, What on Earth, or X-treme Geek. Ditto with the decidedly upscale Charleston Gardens or Savannah’s Candy Kitchen. I also received a copy of Heifer, an interesting catalog that allows you to buy livestock for people in a third world country on behalf of someone on your shopping list.  Woo hoo!

On the next tier are companies that opted to send two copies of their catalog. This generous group includes Gourmet Gift Baskets, Harry & David, Wolferman’s, and L.L. Bean–all catalogs I’ve ordered from before. National Geographic, Acorn, and Wireless apparently thought sending two copies doubled the chances I’d order from them. It worked for Vermont Country Store where I ordered several bars of sandalwood soap for myself.

Though I have never ordered from them before, Signals and Edmund Scientifics sent me three copies of their catalog. Wine Country Gift Baskets sent four copies in an attempt to get me to order from them again.  Unfortunately, they didn’t get any of my money this year.

Last year I ordered a couple of books from Bas Bleu. They are the undisputed champions of the catalog-sending competition. So far this year they’ve sent five different catalogs to…

My Glass House

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